Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren't Working

Two basic features to get good access to apps and information on Windows PC are Start and Cortana. Have you got a message stating critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working? This article will be an answer if you have searched for Windows 10 critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working. The methods in this article will be solutions to the question of how to fix critical error in windows 10. Read all the sections to get a good understanding of this issue.

Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren't Working

How to Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

In this article, we have shown all possible troubleshooting methods to fix Windows 10 critical error Start Menu and Cortana aren’t working issue.

Method 1: Basic Troubleshooting Methods

Try using the basic troubleshooting methods listed here at first. The Start and Cortana may be dysfunctional due to a small glitch. The methods mentioned here can solve the issue.

1. Test Microphone: Cortana is an app that is directed by the microphone. Check if your microphone is in working condition by using it on any other app.

2. Restart PC: A small glitch may have made the apps malfunction. Restarting your PC can clear the glitch caused in RAM and you can use the PC afresh. You can use the article on Restarting your PC and try this method to solve the issue.

3. DISM and SFC scans: If there are corrupt files on your PC, it can stop you from using the Start and Cortana apps. To clear the corrupt files, you need to run a System File Checker Scan and then delete all the corrupt files. To know more about these scans, read our article to repair system files.

Run SFC and DISM command lines to repair system files.

4. Perform chkdsk scan: If there are any corrupt files in Drives and Partition on your PC, the apps Start and Cortana may not work. This scan will scan for any malware in your Partition and drives and clear it. Read about the chkdsk scan using the link given.

Type the CHKDSK command and hit Enter.

5. Check Region setting: If the Region set on your PC doesn’t comply with the location of your device, you may need to change the Region setting on your PC. To change the Region, follow the steps provided in the link given.

6. Uninstall third-party Anti-Virus from your PC: Using a third-party Anti-virus software can stop the apps Start and Cortana from working properly. This type of software disrupts the functioning of Windows programs. You need to uninstall the software to use these apps. You can uninstall the software by following the methods in this article.

7. Create another local user account: Sometimes using a user account for a long time can cause the PC to hang, you need to switch to another account. You can create another local user account and sign in to your existing account after some time. To know more about creating a local user account, click on the link provided.

Enter your current or local user account password & click Next

8. Troubleshoot PC in Safe Mode: Certain applications or Drivers may interfere with using these apps. You need to Safe Boot your PC and then troubleshoot to fix the issue. You can read more about the troubleshooting process in this article.

Enable Safe Mode with Networking

9. Check for Windows Updates: You may need to update the Windows on your PC to use the basic apps. You can update Windows by following the steps mentioned in this article.

If a new update is available, click Install now to download and install the latest update

10. Update Graphics Driver: Apps like Start and Cortana provide visual information and require a proper Graphics Driver. Since Start and Cortana are apps that need a proper and functional Graphics Driver to function, an outdated driver can lower its performance. You can use the link to update your Graphics Driver for proper functioning.

right click on Nvidia geforce graphics driver and select update driver option Windows 11

Also Read: Fix Cortana Taking Up Memory on Windows 10

11. Restore PC to the previous Setting: Some new applications or a change in your general program can cause the problem. You need to restore your PC to a setting in which it was much more functional. Some users have reported that Windows 11 wasn’t able to support basic Windows programs. You can restore your PC by following the link.

System Restore dialog box

12. Reset PC: If none of the methods seem to be working for you, you may need to reset your PC. This will clear all the problems in the PC and give it to you afresh. Reset your PC by following the instructions in this link.

Now, choose an option from the Reset this PC window.

13 Allow Start and Cortana through Firewall: If the apps Start and Cortana aren’t permitted by your Firewall, it might be difficult to use the apps on your PC. Allow the apps on your Firewall by using the method described in the link.

14. Sign out and Re-sign into the account: If the Start and Cortana apps aren’t working for a long time, you can try signing out of the Profile you are currently using and then re-sign into the same profile. If you are logged in to your PC using a Microsoft account, you need to log out and use a local user account. Press the keys Ctrl+ Alt+ Delete and select the option Sign out. Re-sign in the same profile after some time.

15. Avoid using Tablet mode: If you are using your PC in Tablet mode, you may not be able to use the Start or Cortana apps. Disable the Tablet mode using the Windows Action Center.

16. Lock Taskbar: Sometimes, you may not be able to access the apps Start and Cortana if they are hidden in the Taskbar. You need to make the Taskbar visible or Lock the Taskbar. To do this, right-click on an empty space on the Taskbar and select the option Lock the Taskbar.

lock the Taskbar

17. Restart Windows Explorer: If the Windows Explorer is stuck, it is quite possible that it is interfering with your Start and Cortana apps. You need to Restart it to use the apps. Go to Task Manager, right-click on Windows Explorer and select the Restart option.

Right click on windows explorer and select restart

18. Unhide Cortana: Many a time, Cortana is not displayed on the Taskbar. You need to make sure that Cortana is not hidden in the Taskbar. Right-click on an empty space on the Taskbar and select the option Show Cortana button.

Show Cortana button

Also Read: How to Force Cortana to Use Chrome on Windows 10

Method 2: Use Windows PowerShell

PowerShell is used for the management of basic Windows programs. If the apps Start and Cortana aren’t working, you can try re-registering on the PowerShell using a simple command.

1. Hit the Windows key, type PowerShell and click on Run as administrator.

Open window powershell.

2. Type in the command and hit the Enter key.

$manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + '\AppxManifest.xml' ; Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $manifest

powershell command to Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

5. Press the Enter key and wait for some time.

You should be able to use the Start and Cortana apps now.

Also Read: How to Fix Error 0x80070002 Windows 10

Method 3: Use Command Prompt

If the Start and Cortana are installed as plugins on your PC, they may not be so functional. You can clear this issue using a command in Command Prompt.

1. Press the Windows key, type cmd and click on the Run as administrator option.

Open command prompt

2. Type in the command and hit the Enter key.

ren %windir%\System32\AppLocker\Plugin*.* *.bak

Type in the command. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

Method 4: Enable Windows Search Service

Windows Search is a service that aids you to search for apps on your PC. Since Start and Cortana are associated with this service, it is necessary to keep this service functional.

1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.

2. Type services.msc and click on the OK button to launch the Services window.

Launch services via Run dialog box

3. Look for Windows Search in the list and check if the status is Running.

Select the service Windows Search in the list and click on the Restart option

4. Double-click on Windows Search and click on the Start button and then on the OK button.

Note: This step is applicable only if the status isn’t Running.

Also Read: How to Fix Corrupted Registry in Windows 10

Method 5: Rebuild Index

If the Start and Cortana apps aren’t functional for a long time, you may need to re-build the index on your PC. This will let you make the apps function afresh. Follow these steps to rebuild index using Control Panel and fix critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working in Windows 10.

1. Search for Control Panel and launch the app.

Hit the Windows key and type Control Panel. Then, click on Open. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

2. Set the Category as Small icons, then click on Indexing Options.

indexing option in control panel

3. Click on the Modify button at the bottom.

click on Modify option in Indexing options. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

4. Tick C:\Program Files (x86)\ and deselect the other items in the list. Click on the OK button to confirm your selection.

check local disk C in Indexing Locations

5. In the Indexing Options window, click on the Advanced button.

click on Advanced option in Indexed options. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

6. Go to the Index Settings tab in the next window. Click on the Rebuild button on the window.

click on rebuild butoon in delete and rebuild index

7. Click on the OK button on the Rebuild Index window.

click on OK. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

8. Click on the Close button and Restart your PC.

Click on Close button indexing options

Method 6: Enhance Value of Start in Registry Editor

The value of Start in Registry Editor Window is minimal by default and is as 2. You may need to enhance this value to use Start effectively to fix critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working in Windows 10.

1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the keys Windows+ R keys simultaneously.

2. Type in regedit and click on the OK button to open the Registry Editor.

type regedit and hit Enter. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

3. Navigate to the following location path in Registry Editor.

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WpnService

go to WpnService in Registry Editor

4. Double-click on Start string.

double click on Start string in Registry Editor. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

5. Double-click on Start in the list and enter the value 4 in the Value data bar. Click on the OK button to confirm the entry.

Set Value data to 4 in WpnService Start string in Registry Editor

Also Read: Fix Steam Corrupt Disk Error on Windows 10

Method 7: Use Xaml Start Menu Registry Editor

You can use an additional entry as Start by adding a new entry to the Registry Editor window to fix critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working in Windows 10.

1. Open the Registry Editor using the Run dialog box.

type regedit and hit Enter. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

2. Go to the given folder path in Registry Editor.

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

go to the Advanced key folder in Registry Editor. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

3. Right-click on the right pane of the window, and move your cursor over the New option and select DWORD (32-bit) Value.

right click on Next and select Edit Dword Value

4. Select DWORD (32-bit) Value in the list. Type in EnablexamlStartMenu and press the Enter key.

Create a new string named EnablexamlStartMenu in Registry Editor. Fix Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana Aren’t Working

Recommended:

This article deals with the issue of critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working in Windows 10. It gave you the answer to the question of how to fix critical error in windows 10. If you are looking for a solution for Windows 10 critical error Start menu and Cortana aren’t working, you can refer to this article. Kindly provide your suggestions and feel free to post your queries in the comments section.

Posted by
Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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